The management of Kisii National Polytechnic is faced with allegations of bribery and conflict of interest that have led to the cancellation of Tender No.KNP/T/19/2023-2023/5 for the provision of security services. The tender was advertised on May 16, 2023, with the bid submission deadline having been set for May 30, 2023. A total of seven firms put in their bids, they were Quick Diplomatic Response Security Ltd., Gimo Security and Investigations Services Ltd., Keyforce Security Group Ltd., Legit Securities Ltd., Pride Kings Services, Simple Safe Security Services, and Gifted Hands International.
At the end of the evaluation exercise, a professional opinion by the procurement officer recommended Pride Kings Services be awarded the tender. However, the accounting officer awarded the same tender to Keyforce Security Group Ltd, stating that Pride Kings Services did not qualify. Notification letters dated June 20, 2023, to successful and unsuccessful bidders with specific reasons were sent out.
A regret letter to Pride Kings Services Ltd. reads in part “You were not awarded based on past performance in the same institution as per the available reports from the internal security officer”. Pride Kings Services lodged an appeal to the Public Procurement Administrative Board on August 3, 2023, dismissing claims that the firm had previously provided unsatisfactory performance in their previous contract, yet they did not conduct any performance review of the said contract.
The board noted that in the financial review by the tender committee, Pride Kings Services and Keyforce Security Group had tied in quotes per guard. The board noted that the tender committee did not conduct due diligence and made public the report. The board further noted that the evaluation committee relied only on its own internal security officer’s report, which expressed the opinion that Pride Kings Services had unsatisfactory performance during the previous contract implementation.
The board noted that due diligence was not performed on the recommended bidder, an indication of inconsistency in the award process. The ruling reads in part “The upshot is that the procuring entity was neither objective nor fair in its conduct during the due-diligence process on the applicant”.
The board further noted that since two firms had a tie in quotes per guard, which was a determining factor, the accounting officer should have used his discretion by undertaking negotiation and allowing tenderers to revisit their tenders by submitting their best and final offer to be considered for finalizing the award process.
The ruling dated August 24, 2023, further reads “We have found that the applicant’s letter of notification of award dated June 20, 2023, failed to meet the threshold required.The letter of award issued to Keyforce Security Group for the provision of security services is hereby nullified and set aside. The accounting officer is hereby ordered to reconvene the evaluation committee and re-evaluate all the tenders submitted within 14 days of this order and proceed with the tender to its conclusion.”